The Montana Housing Division
The Housing Division’s purpose is to create affordable housing opportunities for Montanans whose needs are not met by the market. We accomplish this by partnering with local housing organizations across the state to leverage the federal funding that is made available to Montana.
The work we do is important for families, children, seniors, businesses, communities and the hard-working people of Montana. We offer resources, both financial and technical, to encourage and enable development of affordable housing, to educate first-time homebuyers, to ensure Montanans have access to an affordable 30-year fixed rate mortgage when they are ready to purchase a home, to offer rental assistance to those who need it, to assist the public and the support agencies in locating affordable housing for those in need of it. We administer and maintain compliance standards for a number of different programs, each designed to assist those who have low to moderate incomes.
Use the toolbar on the left to find additional information about all of the housing programs available from the Housing Division.
Contact the Housing Division for assistance. You may call (406) 841-2840 or email.
We understand that housing is critical for families and for communities to flourish and to reach their full potential. We do all that we can to ensure decent, safe and sanitary housing for lower income Montanans in the communities where they need to live and work.
Who We Are
The Housing Division is made up of a wide array of housing programs, funded through a variety of federal funding sources. The programs can easily be divided into two major categories.
- The Housing Assistance Bureau receives its funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and administers the following programs:
- The Section 8 programs;
- The Housing Choice Voucher Program
- Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Program
- Shelter Plus Care Program
- The Project-Based Section 8 Program
- The Housing Choice Voucher Program
- The HOME Investment Partnerships Program.
- The Section 8 programs;
- The Montana Board of Housing issues tax-exempt Mortgage Revenue Bonds to provide funds to purchase mortgages from participating lenders across the state of Montana and to finance development of multifamily housing.
- Homeownership Program
- Low rate, 30-year fixed-rate loans for low to moderate income first-time homebuyers
- First-time Homebuyer Education
- Foreclosure Prevention Counseling
- Multifamily Program
- Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program
- Risk-sharing Multifamily Loans
- General Obligation Multifamily Loans
- Reverse Annuity Mortgage Program
- Homeownership Program
What We Do
The Housing Division creates affordable housing opportunities for Montanans whose needs are not met by the market. We use several federal funding sources to accomplish this:
- We issue tax-exempt Mortgage Revenue Bonds to purchase qualified First-Time Homebuyer’s mortgages from our lending partners. Borrowers benefit by their access to a lower-rate, 30-year fixed rate mortgage for up to 97% of home value.
- We finance First-Time Homebuyer Education and Foreclosure Prevention Counseling statewide, using U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grants, to which helps create borrowers who are confident and informed.
- We allocate Low Income Housing Tax Credits each year to developers of affordable multifamily housing, available under Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. This financing option allows developers a way have resources available during the construction phase, resulting in less debt service cost and they are able to offer low rents to income-qualified renters.
- We issue Housing Choice Vouchers, financed by HUD and administered by the Housing Division. Eligible households use vouchers to rent privately owned homes of their choosing, paying 30% of their adjusted gross income towards rent and utilities.
This also includes:
- Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH)
- Shelter Plus Care Program
- We administer the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Programwhich is a block grant funded by HUD. The Housing Division provides HOME funding to community housing development organizations (CHDO) and local governments to create affordable housing for low-income families
- We administer the Project-Based Section 8 Programfor properties that HUD manages throughout the state by providing rental assistance to the projects instead of the tenants. The agency earns fees from HUD for performing tasks such as doing special damage claims, calculating annual rent increases, responding to emergencies, ensuring compliance for fair housing and waiting lists, performing on-site management reviews and follow-up to physical inspections, reviewing management decisions, and offering budget assistance.
- We provide the Reverse Annuity Mortgage (RAM) Program. This program was originally funded with income from the Montana Board of Housing’s Mortgage Revenue Bond issue, it is now operated as a revolving loan fund. The program allows low-income seniors to access the equity in their home in order to stay in their home and to live more comfortably while doing so.
- We coordinate the Housing Coordinating Team which is an informal gathering of housing advocates from federal, state, non-profit, market developers, housing authorities, community leaders and economic development organizations. We have helped develop:
- Coordination of Housing Applications
- The Housing White Paper
- The MTHousingSearch website, a housing locator
- Fair Housing Advisory Committee
- Housing Technical Assistance
How We Do It
Housing Assistance Bureau:
- The HOME Investment Partnerships Program finances housing for low-income populations, including downpayment assistance, construction of homes and apartments, rehabilitation of owner-occupied homes, and rental assistance. The funding source is a block grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). States receive 40 percent of total HOME funding, and localities receive 60 percent directly from HUD, based on a formula determining need.
- The Tenant-Based Section 8 Program is financed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by the Montana Housing Division. Allow very low income families to pay a set amount towards rent and utilities, based on their gross adjusted income (currently 30%). Very low income families have incomes of 50 percent or less of the HUD median family income for the county in which the family resides, established by HUD annually. Income Limits can be found in the Section 8 Documents page of this site. The programs provide subsidy payments to property owners on behalf of program participants.
- The Moderate Rehabilitation Program provides project-based rental assistance for low income families. The program was repealed in 1991 and no new projects are authorized for development. Assistance is limited to properties previously rehabilitated pursuant to a housing assistance payments (HAP) contract between an owner and a Public Housing Agency (PHA).
- The Project-Based Section 8 agencyis the contract administrator for properties that HUD manages throughout the state. They provide rental assistance to the projects instead of the tenants. Landlords perform administrative tasks at the local level. The agency performs the property reviews, property management, and makes payments to owners. The agency earns fees from HUD for the tasks performed using tenant data and rent and payment structure. The Project-Based Program renews contracts as they expire. Program specialists do special damage claims, annual rent increases, respond to emergencies, check compliance for fair housing and waiting lists, on-site management reviews, follow-up to physical inspections, review of management decisions, and budget assistance. Find the list of properties on the Housing Division website.
The Montana Board of Housing:
- The Homeownership Program offers a low interest rate, thirty year, fixed-rate mortgage to assist low and moderate income first-time homebuyers in purchasing homes in the State of Montana under the federal Mortgage Revenue Bond (MRB) program. The Board issues these tax-exempt bonds and uses the revenue to purchase loans from qualified lenders who originate them.
- The Board also converts part of its bond authority into Mortgage Credit Certificates, which provide a tax credit in conjunction with market-rate mortgages for first-time home buyers.
- The Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program receives Montana’s allocation of tax credits each year and distributes those credits to developers of multifamily housing according to a competitive application process.
- Generally, when a successful applicant is granted credits they are sold to an investor or syndicated group of investors and the equity is used to reduce the amount of debt financing that the property owner will incur.
- This lowers the operating costs, and makes it economically feasible to operate the property at below-market rents.
- In exchange for the financing provided through the tax credit, owners agree to keep rents affordable for a period of 15 to 30 years for families and individuals with incomes at or below 60% of the local median income.
- The Montana Board of Housing monitors the properties during the compliance period to ensure that rents and residents’ incomes do not exceed federal limits and that the properties are well maintained
- The Reverse Annuity Mortgage (RAM) Program enables senior Montana homeowners the ability to borrow the equity in their homes and use the additional monthly income to provide for their own in-home support. Lower income seniors who are 68 years old are eligible to apply.
Our Mission and Values
Our mission is to create affordable housing opportunities for Montanans whose needs are not met by the market. We value people, families, communities, fairness, teamwork, mutual respect, and integrity.
We are committed and passionate about collaborating with our partners to make sure Montana's families and communities have attainable, affordable, accessible and sustainable homes.
Our Goals and Objectives
In order to fulfill our mission, we are committed to achieving the following goals and objectives:
- Expand coordination of housing activities within the Housing Division, and with other housing providers, both private and governmental, to ensure maximum possible high quality development and maintenance of housing stock within the state, while minimizing use of resources and duplication of services.
- Continue and expand involvement of Housing Division personnel in the Housing Coordinating Team, an interagency group meeting to discuss issues related to housing and coordination of programs. Create standardized application documents for grant, loan and tax credit funds where possible. Combine applications workshops and use a "team" approach to setting up application workshops and required public hearings.
- Provide exemplary customer service by resolving questions for our customers rather than passing them along to another person or agency. We do this with a well-trained staff and with an informative website.